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What is Essential?

"I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free"
 ~ Michelangelo  

Identify your core message, in five words or less.
Eliminate anything that doesn't serve it.

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Why are you making this presentation?
What do you want your audience to think, feel, believe or do?

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Your audience

They don't care about you, or what you want - they care about themselves.
Frame everything in terms of how they benefit.

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Not everything should be a video or a presentation.
What is the best way for your audience to receive this information?

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In public speaking, for example, this refers to things like the speaker's enthusiasm, eye contact, pacing, pauses, etc. Mastering these requires a fair amount of practice.


Story is an ideal way to convey your core message to audiences.

Stories in your presentation can be about anything, including you, colleagues, customers, a historical event, or something else. The key is for the story to entertain and engage the audience, while effectively conveying your points and reaching your goals.

These are the basic elements of any story:

Compelling Character

The "hero" doesn't necessarily need to be good or likeable, but it must be someone who garners the audience's interest and empathy.

The story needs to elicit emotion, so the audience feels something. Otherwise, the audience won't be engaged.

Strong Desire

Screenwriting consultant Michael Hauge notes that character goals in almost every film are to:
(1) win (a competition, someone’s affection, etc);
(2) escape (get out of or away from some bad situation);
(3) stop (some bad thing from happening); or
(4) retrieve (Holy Grail, bank robbery, etc.).

Consequences of Failure

What are the dire consequences if the character fails to achieve the goal? If none, why would we care?
Imagine someone walking on a tightrope - if it hangs two feet above a thick cushion, falling doesn't matter.

Obstacles / Conflict

What people and situations / circumstances prevent the character from achieving the goal?
This is very important, because the drama from any situation arises out of conflict.

Make your speaking, presentations & media more effective and engaging.

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